County clerk: No election hacking in Genesee County - WNEM TV 5

County clerk: No election hacking in Genesee County

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
GENESEE COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

President Donald Trump is looking into dishonesty in the voting system.

He insists millions of people voted illegally in the November election.

Local officials said that's not the case in Mid-Michigan.

"There's no way in the world that the Russians came to Genesee County and hacked our machines," Genesee County Clerk John Gleason said.

A recent report by a justice center at NYU Law suggests voting systems across the country can be prime bait for hackers with aging voting machines and outdated voter registration systems being the main culprits.

"These issues don't pertain to our county whatsoever," Gleason said.

Fred Woodhams, a spokesperson for the Secretary of State, said Michigan's voting system is secure and is also backed up by paper ballots.

"The state's qualified voter file is regularly backed up and uses the latest encryption and security technology," Woodhams said.

The process to ensure election security includes paper ballots, which can later be used for hand recounts. It also includes tabulator machines - that are tested before each election - and monitors in local polling places to make sure things are running smoothly. In addition, there's post-election canvassing which seeks to validate results precinct by precinct.

"We have a very good system here in Michigan that can be a national model," Woodhams said.

Gleason and local residents said they are not worried about foreign hacking attacking in Genesee County.

"I don't think there's much of a problem with the voting," said Pete Kaake, Genesee County resident.

He said he hasn't run into a single problem while voting in Davison.

"It's been smooth sailing," Kaake said.

While some states may be cause for concern, Gleason said Michigan is ahead of the curve after a $30 million investment by the state.

"In November we will have new election equipment here in this county. Every community that has a voting booth will have a new one," Gleason said.

He said the recount of the presidential election was also validation.

"Here in Genesee County we hand counted over 60,000 ballots and it validated the results of Nov. 8, the election day itself," Gleason said.

When it comes to maintaining voter databases in a city suffering from a water crisis, there is concern over people moving without updating their voting registration.

"When you go from one residence to another, you must update that voter registration. But that doesn't happen as often as it should in our county," Gleason said.

While people who move shouldn't be allowed to vote in their old precincts because their ID's wouldn't match, it's far from a flawless system.

Residents like Kaake said it's time the country moves beyond the idea of interference in elections.

"Russian narrative is just a narrative that the Democrats and progressives have used," Kaake said.

In the 2016 presidential election, Russian hackers reportedly targeted voting machines in as many as 39 states.

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